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Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: My Go-To, Simple, Cheap, Long-Life Lanolin/Alcohol Spray Case Lube

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    Red face My Go-To, Simple, Cheap, Long-Life Lanolin/Alcohol Spray Case Lube

    Almost 40 years ago, I bought a plastic toothpaste-type tube of RCBS lube and a couple of lube pads, then stored them away.

    Recently, I searched for a part in a large plastic storage bin that holds a bunch of old press parts, and found, to my horror, the ancient tube had split, releasing the stickiest, thickest, gunkiest goo ever, all over the bottom of the bin. Yuck. (Why I never learn to put that kind of stuff in doubled Zip-Lock bags I'll never know.)

    My much-cleaner, and modern favorite, always-ready, fast-and-easy case lube is 1 ounce of lanolin dissolved into 12 ounces of 99% isopropyl alcohol, then dispensed from a pump spray bottle.

    It's "shake and spray," roll the brass in the box, let them dry for a minute or so, then push the shells into the sizing die. Hands stay clean and I don't have to mess with lube pads that attract dirt.

    My local health food store sold the thick lanolin for about $11. It is a very stiff consistency (like wheel bearing grease) and doesn't even self-level in its container.

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    I also obtained a bottle of liquid lanolin oil (Amazon, I think) that should also work, but have not tried it yet because I didn't realize how long my first bottle would last. I've been working on this first batch for years. Lanolin goes a very, very long way.

    Not sure why some lanolin is almost solid and some is liquid. I'm guessing the stiffer stuff is more like how lanolin comes off the wool in processing. It is really sticky and very slick.

    The 99% alcohol is actually Iso-Heet gasoline treatment in the red bottle -- get it at Walmart or an auto parts store.

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    To use, put the shells in a shallow cardboard box (the cardboard contains and absorbs excess overspray) and spritz a very small amount onto the brass, avoiding primer pockets, then roll them around in the box. You don't need to spray both sides. The lube will run around the case as you roll them about. Let them dry for about a minute. They should not be dripping wet; you're just wasting lube. They should have a fine coating of lanolin.

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    The alcohol and lanolin mix seems to be very compatible with normal spray bottles. The nozzle has never clogged and the alcohol seems not to evaporate from the bottle.

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    After resizing, you can wipe the lanolin off with a paper towel or rag, or vibrate-tumble the finished round in corncob media.

    And even though the RCBS sizing die for 500 S&W Mag is carbide, the instructions say to lube every 3rd or 4th round. This lanolin lube makes resizing really slick and is easy on the die.

    I've used this lube for .223 Remington, .308 Winchester, 500 S&W Mag, .45-70, and even .458 SOCOM. No stuck cases yet.

    I've heard this lube is very much like the formula Dillon uses for their spray case lube.

    And lanolin makes your hands so very soft....

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    I also ditched the RCBS lube and pad a while ago, but my go to is Imperial Sizing Wax.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Eddie17's Avatar
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    This mix works for me also!

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawlerbrook View Post
    my go to is Imperial Sizing Wax.

    Yes, I have a can of ISW. It was highly recommended for .458 SOCOM.

    But for smaller calibers or just slicking up the brass, this lanolin is simply too quick and easy. I don't even have to open a container. Spray, dry and go. I even used it to neck down trimmed .223 to make .300 BLK.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



    MUSTANG's Avatar
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    I still use the RCBS Lube Pad - But I place brass on the RCBS Pad; then spray it with a Liquid Lanolin/Alcohol mix. The pad collects the remaining lube as alcohol vaporizes off, then a few rounds of brass can be rolled on the pad before doing another spray. This process keeps the lube contained and gets max coverage and use.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  6. #6
    USMC 77, USRA 79


    Markopolo's Avatar
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    i use something similar... Bag Balm
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

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  7. #7
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    I use liquid lanolin, pour the 1 oz into the bottle of iso-heat with a couple of boolits, label it and leave it on my bench. This way I can use a small sprayer (also with a couple of small boolits inside to act as agitators)

    For dealing with primmed cases I find that water-based lube is easier to clean off.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Markopolo View Post
    i use something similar... Bag Balm
    Bag Balm is my "Go To" for all my swaging operations. The thinned lanolin does not do well for swaging, but I find it is great for resizing brass.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Imperial Sizing Wax or Bag Balm. Living in rural area has it's advantages for supplies.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Glad to hear iso heat is 99% alcohol , I’ve never been able to find it on shelves

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beechbum444 View Post
    Glad to hear iso heat is 99% alcohol , I’ve never been able to find it on shelves
    Red Iso-Heet is 99% isopropyl alcohol. My local hardware store has 99% isopropyl alcohol in gallon cans. Picked one up just in case. Not cheap, but probably less expensive than a gallon of Iso-Heet Red.

    There's a yellow bottle of ISO-HEET, too. It's supposedly near pure methanol alcohol.

    I'd rather be handling isopropyl than toxic methanol. But for burning, in, say, an alcohol lamp, methanol is cleaner.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Markopolo View Post
    i use something similar... Bag Balm
    Using it straight or thinning it?

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Walmart, Sam's Club, Safeway all carry 99% isopropyl in the pharmacy first aid section. Way less expensive that heet.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Jim22's Avatar
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    That mix is what Dillon sells in pump spray bottles. I don't use a cardboard box. I dump the brass in a stainless bowl I got at a garage sale, spray and mix by hand. I like the round bowl better than a box with corners.

    Jim

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use a plastic zip lock bag. Put brass in bag, a spray of two of mix, roll bag around, dump on old towel let dry and ready to go.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I mixed up some 99% Isopropyl and Lanolin when I got the Dillon 650, 6 years ago because of volume. Having a bucket of .223 brass, and loads of 9mm to process.

    Bought some more lanolin a few years later thinking may need to mix more, wrong still using the same spray bottle. It don’t take much, couple spritz to several hundred, keep using same container will go for long time.

    One thing you have to do though is, let the alcohol flash off. Don’t get in a hurry and rush it, you will stick one and that is a pain I don’t want to go thru again.
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government..... When the people fear their government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    I have used Kiwi leather conditioner paste for years, which is how long a tin of paste will last, just put a little on your fingers then roll the case in your hand on the way to the press.
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